Mannheim Linux switch underway

The German city is on target to complete the first stage of a major migration to Linux this year

The city of Mannheim will have completed the first phase of its migration to Linux by the end of 2005, and is on target to have transferred all of its systems within five years, according to German media reports.

In the first phase, due to be completed this year, Windows NT servers will be replaced by 110 Linux servers. After the first phase the city council hopes around 3,700 desktops will follow the servers onto the open source OS. So far Mannheim is still using Microsoft desktop applications, but has commissioned a study to look into the introduction of, the open source productivity suite.

The gradual transition is designed to lower training expenditure and prevent staff from feeling overwhelmed by the new system.

All registration, file-management and printing services in the city will run on Linux by the end of 2005, as will Oracle Collaboration, the city council said.

Microsoft's withdrawal of support for Windows NT in 2004 was a major factor in deciding the city's migration. IBM is the technical partner in all phases of Mannheim's "gentle migration".

Another German city, Munich, is due to migrate to Linux, but that migration is not due to start until midway through 2006.